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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                             . 126
mountains west .of Dindigal, the Animalaya south of Coim-
bator, the Shevgghiri mountain* south-west of Madura, and
the ranges near Courtalam, are all well-known as the scenes
of Dr. Wight's indefatigable labours, which have extended to
Cape Comorin itself in this direction.
There are few botanical features of-Travancor not common
to both Ceylon and Malabar in general. Nutmegs, coffee, and
cinnamon flourish at Courtalam. The remarkable Palm, Sen*
tinckia, so common on its mountains, is however fcot known
in Ceylon. The .other Palms are Caryota urens, an Areca,
Phoenix farinifera, and one or two species of Calamus.
HSiLGHJRi AND Kx/R& MoxiN'i'AiNs.—To the north of the
Coimbator valley, this part of the peninsular chain rises ab-
ruptly to 8000 feet elevation as the Nilghiri range, and is
continued northward as the mountains of Kurg at nearly the
same elevation. Below 6000 feet they are steep and densely
wooded; above that they fimn undulating grassy table-lands,
with scattered bushes and copsewood, from which low sloping
Mite arise, of which Dodabetta, the loftiest of the range, at-
tains S429 feet.
To the west and south, the Nilghiri mountains are precipi-
tous ; to the east, long transverse ranges covered with dense
forest are given off, enclosing the lofty valleys of Mysore.
The rain-fall, which is excessive to the westward, is much
diminished before reaching the axis of the chain: at Doda-
betta it is 100 inches; and at TJtacamand only 64 inches.
The seasons are uniform throughout the year, the cold never
being extreme, though frosts do occur in clear winter nights.
The following abstract (which we borrow from Gardner) will
afford a few data as to the temperatures of certain positions
and elevations:—
Alt.          Mean temp.
Dinhetty.....6166 feet    64'0
Kotagheiy .... 6407 „ 63-4
Utacajnand .... 7197 „ 61'0
Dodabetta .... 8429          56-0